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Van Susteren Drops Out of Senate Race

Lise Van Susteren, a Montgomery County psychiatrist and the only woman in a crowded Democratic field for the U.S. Senate, sent a letter to supporters this morning withdrawing from the race.

"I am proud of what our campaign accomplished," she wrote in her letter. "Together we poured energy into traveling the state and talking about issues that affect the lives of real people every day. Our message was well received. And while we raised half a million dollars, it wasn't enough to assure that we would reach the numbers of voters that we would need to win in September."

Van Susteren did not offer an endorsement to any of her Democratic competitors but said she would work hard to hold onto the seat, now held by the retiring Democrat Paul S. Sarbanes.

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, the leading Republican candidate, is expected to pump millions into the race. Only one Democratic contender. Rep. Ben Cardin has raised significant amounts of money from contributors. The other Democratic candidates are former congressman and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume, American Unveristy Professor Allan Lichtman, Montgomery businessman Josh Rales, Baltimore County pol Dennis Rasmussen and Baltimore activist A. Robert Kaufman. In additon, Kevin Zeese is running on a third-party ticket.

Van Susteren wrote in her letter:

"Even though I am no longer running for the U.S. Senate, I intend to stay active. I will continue to work to fix the underlying causes of our crisis in health care, to protest against the pollution that destroys our health, to advocate for an intelligent energy policy, and to push for diplomacy ahead of military intervention. I remain particularly outraged at the ongoing harm that blocking embryonic stem cell research has caused to so many suffering people.

"The people of Maryland want change. We need to open up our political system.

"We need to elect people from diverse occupational backgrounds, who bring skills honed from success in other areas, and whose life experiences sharpen their passion to consider the lives of real people when making policy.

"We also need gender balance in government. Women often provide a more collaborative approach to leadership. I am convinced that if there were more women in government all over the world, we would have a safer and more peaceful place to live."

By Phyllis Jordan  |  April 21, 2006; 11:45 AM ET
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Hmmm. If one wasn't a political junkie, they would have probably not even have known Van Susteren was in the race to begin with. It's like - "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?"

Posted by: Fred | April 21, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The sad thing is that Lise Van Susteren would have made a better senator than any of the other guys running.

The system is broken if the best candidates can't effectively get out their message without raising millions of dollars.

Posted by: Maryland Progressive | April 21, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The system is broke, what do you mean, the state dem selection committee that seems to handpick candidates--aka omalley and cardin for seats? I wonder when the old white dem selection sunday committee will ever actually pick a minority!

Posted by: Bryan | April 23, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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